Many ADHD women struggle with whether or not they should become pregnant and, once pregnant, how to get through their pregnancy. Others find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy! Half of ALL pregnancies are unplanned, and this number is even higher among adhd women. So you are not alone if this is the case.


This page has some tips to best take care of your mental health during pregnancy and resources designed to help you with common questions about ADHD and pregnancy.

ADHD, Pregnancy, and Medication


Many of my clients wonder if they can continue taking their medication or if they need to stop during pregnancy. 


In 2020, I attended an online women's health conference with Allison Baker, who shared the latest information on ADHD medication safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Although there is insufficient data to determine their absolute safety, doctors have increasingly prescribed them to women with ADHD during pregnancy.


If you are taking ADHD medication, discuss the best options with your doctor, who should have an up-to-date and expert understanding of ADHD in pregnant women. Severe unmedicated ADHD can pose a great risk to a fetus, especially when combined with anxiety and depression. If you have ADHD, your baby's safety issues may include unsafe driving, stress, and mood management, which can harm the fetus. Ultimately, the choice of whether to continue medication during pregnancy is up to you.

How can I Reduce my Stress when I have ADHD and am Pregnant?


1. Think about getting someone to drive for you. Motor vehicle accidents are a considerable concern among women who have ADHD, and when on medication, those accidents do not happen at the same rate

2. Ask for help from people.  You are likely to be struggling with more significant challenges to your executive functioning, increased stress on your body and mind, sensitivity to criticism,  and mood swings. It's essential to have a team of people around you who support you.

  • Try to delegate tasks to people willing to help you so you have less on your to-do list. Shopping? Dog walking? Ordering things? Anything extra that you have on your to-do list that someone else can help you with is fair game.
  • Work hard on creating external structures to help you not forget.
  • Who can you ask to help remind you about meds, prenatal vitamins, appointments, etc.? Ask.
  • Who can you go to for stress management and support? Ask for your friends and family to be extra patient and available to listen to you during this time.
  • Who can you go to to help you with boundaries? You may need extra help saying no. Find support and put a team in place.
  • Get a therapist or coach in place. CBT is helpful for ADHD, and a coach to help teach you skills during this incredibly stressful time when you are prone to anxiety AND depression. This can be a preventive measure.

3. Reminders. Don't count on yourself to remember put reminders in three or four places. Ask and learn about what kinds of reminder systems are in place for all of the appointments you are setting up.

4. Ask yourself, what do I need to remember and do, and how am I impaired BECAUSE of my ADHD?  Think about what medication was helping you with, and then put systems in place to supplement this. 

  • Being brutally honest with yourself about your impairment is necessary.
  • Take care of your executive function on overdrive.

5. Reduce your workload at work. Ask for work accommodations. This is an essential piece that can reduce stress and create a better environment for your baby. Heightened stress and anxiety during pregnancy affect a child's physical and mental development. Anything you can do to make your life less stressful will make your baby healthier.


Will my ADHD get Worse While I'm Pregnant?

  • Surprisingly, most clients I work with and Doctors I know have no idea that hormones impact their ADHD.
  • Estrogen helps us pay attention; dopamine seems to work better when we have more estrogen. That has dramatic ramifications for someone with ADHD. 
  • During a woman's cycle, estrogen varies dramatically 
  • Estrogen goes down at the beginning of your period, the second half of your cycle, different times of the day, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • With pregnancy, estrogen increases, and your symptoms will be exacerbated when you have less estrogen.
  • Also, it seems PMDD is more common in people that have ADHD
  • Some women with ADHD have an easing of symptoms, especially in the second half of pregnancy. For others, their symptoms increase because of the increasing demands of executive functioning fluctuations in mood and increased impulsivity.


What Else Will Be Hard for Me When I'm Pregnant?

  • self-care
  • Making, keeping and getting to appointments
  • There is an increase need to make more choices which can be hard because that is an executive functioning skill

Are there any risks to Pregnancy when you are and ADHD Woman?

Research shows you are at higher risk of :

  • Preeclampsia
  • Emergency cesarean delivery
  • Preterm labor and delivery

(Surles 2022)

Your baby is at higher risk of adhd as adhd is genetic. Additionally, it's been shown that babies of women with adhd are at higher risk of:

  • Breathing difficulties during and after delivery
  • Emergency newborn resuscitation
  • Neonatal admission

(Surles 2022)

What about after my baby is born? What do I need to know?

  • Postpartum certainly can bring an increase in symptoms as well as depression.
  • After birth, estrogen plummets
  • The stress of caring for a newborn can post diffiuclties
  • Emotional overwhelm
  • Lack of sleep increases symptoms
  • Postpartum hormone changes often worsen symptoms

Breastfeeding when you have ADHD and are on Medications

After pregnancy, many of the women I work with will want to refrain from taking their medication because they are breastfeeding. However, it may be safe to take your medication in small doses while breastfeeding. Again, weighing the pros and cons is essential. This article is by the program considered one of the most prestigious in the country. 

Leave pregnancy and adhd for other links

Adhd and college accommodation

adhd and procrastination

adhd and exercise

adhd and diet


More resources:


The No Bullshit Guide to Pregnancy when you have ADHD (Taneia Surles 2022)

Please check out Dusty's work at
Some of this information was taken from Surviving (And Thriving) During Your ADHD Pregnancy - 2021 Dusty Chipura Women's Palooza


Medical information obtained from this website is not intended as a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you have a problem, you should consult a healthcare provider.


By admin